Friday, November 24, 2017

2012 Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards Dinner


Thursday April 19, 2012 - The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel

61st Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards Dinner

John Avila, Jr. - Honoree

We are pleased to announce that John Avila, Jr., receives our most prestigious award.  We honor John
because he has lived his life in accordance with the mission of the Multicultural Alliance of promoting
inclusion, diversity and understanding while working toward eliminating bias, bigotry, and oppression.  
John served as presiding chair of the organization, and through his leadership, we participated in 
historical events that had the potential to divide our community. 

ohn is a second generation Hispanic born and reared in San Antonio, Texas. Entering the army at 
age 17, the diversity of races, ethnicities, gender, and religious thought and practice widened 
his worldview. It was this framework that would profoundly influence his future.
Notably, upon an honorable discharge, John continued to serve in the military as a member of the Texas
Army National Guard and retired at the rank of Brigadier General.

As President of Thomas S. Byrne, he and his company are noted for their commitment to diversity and
inclusion. For the past decade, he has been a volunteer instructor to small and minority owned businesses.
He and his staff mentor local women and minority businesses. Civic engagement is part of the culture 
of the Byrne Company, as the firm participates in numerous local and national organizations and programs.

We humbly acknowledge that we have been instrumental in the healing process and have offered
 with conscience peace to critical times. John has been a part of this process, and we congratulate John Avila
 as the 61
st Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards recipient. View John Avila's acceptance speech preceded by
introductions by Paul Jung and Marvin Girouard


Henry Cisneros - Featured Speaker

A career in community building began at the local level for Henry Cisneros. After serving three terms as a
City Council member in San Antonio, he became the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major city.  In 1986
 he was selected as the “Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine. In 1992, President
Clinton appointed Mr. Cisneros Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros was credited with initiating the
revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments with formulating policies which contributed
 to achieving the nation’s highest homeownership rate.

Born in San Antonio, he received a B.A. and a M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A & M University.
He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, studied urban economics
 at M.I.T., and holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from George Washington University. He served
 as an infantry officer in the United States Army. He resides in San Antonio and is the Executive
Chairman of CityView companies, an organization which works with urban homebuilders to create homes
 priced within the range of most families.

During a controversial time in our community when the Fort Worth Housing Authority purchased the
 Stonegate Villas for the purpose of relocating residents from the Ripley Arnold complex, MCA  invited
 Henry Cisneros to speak at a town hall meeting. As a result of the meeting, many objections to affordable
 housing were overcome. At the MCA Annual Awards Dinner, the Multicultural Alliance and Henry Cisneros
received Awards of Appreciation from the Fort Worth Housing Authority for the inspiration and support of
"Good Neighborhoods-Good Neighbors" and the 2003 Ripley Arnold-Stonegate Relocation. View Paul Jung
welcoming everyone to the MCA Dinner and Henry Cisneros' speech


Marvin Girouard - Dinner Chair

 The Dinner Chair for the evening is Marvin Girouard.  The former Chairman and CEO of Pier 1 Imports
 has diligently worked locally, nationally and internationally to build bridges of understanding and
embracing differences.  He began his career with Pier 1 in 1975, and for ten years held merchandising
 positions that required extensive travel to over 50 countries. In 1988, Mr. Girouard was elected President
 and Chief Operating Officer of Pier 1 Imports. In 1998 he was elected Chief Executive Officer, and in
1999, elected Chairman of the Board.

Under his leadership, the company built their corporate headquarters along the banks of the Trinity
 River in Fort Worth. The unique and timeless architectural design further defines the Fort Worth
 landscape and is one of the first key developments of the city’s proposed Trinity Riverfront Project.

Marvin’s business acumen is only overshadowed by his strong sense of community and corporate
 responsibility. He forged strong philanthropic partnerships to lead Pier 1 in contributing more than
 $30 million on the international, national and local levels. 

He received a marketing degree from Texas A&M University. After graduation, he spend five active
 years in the U.S. Navy, including combat service in Vietnam. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve
until 1983, when he retired as a Commander with 20 years of service.

He is grateful to serve in this role and honored that John Avila has asked him to present the
Multicultural Alliance Annual Award.  


Paul Jung - Dinner MC

 Paul Jung serves as the Presiding Chair of the Multicultural Alliance. Reared in New York City
 and the son of Chinese immigrants, he remembers his home as a revolving door through
which people of all cultures, religious beliefs, and ethnicities passed. Growing up in a welcoming
 environment fostered Paul’s strong belief in the mission of MCA.

Paul became a member of the Multicultural Alliance board in 2008, after his mother-in-law,
Shirlee Gandy, attended the Multicultural Alliance Annual Awards Dinner. She suggested that
 he might be interested. She was right. 

A graduate from NYU with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Computer Science and Economics. He had
 a career in the high tech industry before becoming the President of Bodhi Bicycles. The flagship
 product is a line of innovative electric bicycles.


Cara Walker - Camp CommUNITY Speaker

After realizing  the significant impact of  Camp CommUNITY on her life, a decision to pursue a 
career in diversity and inclusion seemed a logical   next step.  Her week at Camp provided the 
courage to have comfort with people who have various educational levels, cultural heritages,    
religious practices, and life experiences – oftentimes very different from her own.

Cara Walker is the Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center at UNT. While a student
at the Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas, she attended Camp CommUNITY in 2001 when it
was known as Anytown USA. She graduated from UNT with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and
 Advertising. For the past three years, she has allowed the spirit and passion of camp to impact
 her career path at the Multicultural Center. View introductions of Cara Walker and her speech


 Amanda Henderson - Invocation

Amanda Henderson believes radical change begins at the smallest level. She hopes to plant seeds
that will transform communities by inviting individuals to participate in community interfaith dialogues.

Amanda was involved with MCA for the past two years while a student at Brite Divinity School.
She participated in the 2011 MCA Seminary Interfaith Retreat and was an intern in the MCA office.
As part of her internship, she participated and co-facilitated the MCA Interfaith Dialogues.

Amanda is an Ordained Minister of the Disciples of Christ Christian Church and will receive
her Master’s of Divinity degree from Brite Divinity School in May. She serves as the Outreach
Minister at Ridglea Christian Church. 
View Welcome and Invocation 



Adeel Zeb - Benediction

Adeel participated in the 2012 MCA Seminary Interfaith Retreat this past January. He is currently a 
graduate student at Hartford Seminary in the Master’s in Islamic Chaplaincy program. As a 
student chaplain, Adeel contributes to public discourse on ethical and spiritual issues. Additionally,
he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Baylor University and a Bachelor’s
of Science Degree in Islamic Studies from Houston’s Arees Institute.

At the heart of Adeel’s seminary training is the mission to move people beyond stereotypes
and to develop an accurate awareness and appreciation of Islamic religion, law and culture. He 
is able to achieve this through the compelling personal stories of how faith is lived today.

For two years he received the Beta Chi Theta Excellence of Service Award and is a highly sought
after speaker both locally and nationally. View Paul Jung's closing remarks and Adeel Zeb's benediction

2012 Dinner pictures
Thank you to all program participants, attendees and 2012 Dinner Sponsors for supporting the Multicultural Alliance.



MCA is a human relations organization whose mission is to promote inclusion, diversity and understanding while working toward eliminating bias, bigotry and oppression in our community.
Multicultural Alliance® | 500 West Seventh Street, Ste 1707, Unit 15, Fort Worth, TX 76102 | phone (817) 332-3271 | fax (817) 332-3272

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